After 35 years we finally decided to do it, and held a reunion here in Canberra. Planning for the 1999 reunion got underway with a get together at the Canberra Yacht club in November 1998 and for those who could not make it, we took a couple of rather poor photos. Many of us have not met for 35 years or so, and it is amazing how one tends to remember people how they were then! So select this link for a shock! The reunion was held over the Anzac day long weekend - From 24th to 26th April 1999.
This is the obligatory Group Photo from the reunion dinner, if you were not able to attend it will be quite a challenge to try to work out who is who. If you want to give it a try click here for the attendance list. It might be worth printing it as there are many other un-captioned photos from the various events!
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So what did we do during this Grand reunion?
1. We had a great dinner at the Red Belly Black restaurant on Mount Stomlo, genuine 50's music provided by your friend and mine - John Evans. A continuous slide show, courtesy of Terry Clark, who used contributions from himself and several others. Terry took many other photos of all 3 main events using his digital camera - Click here for the RBB photos. Displays of memorabilia, brisk sales of "The Book" and T/Polo shirts, etc. We had a great view of the sunset - almost too good due no cloud at all! Ate well, but above all we renewed friendships from 35 or more years ago and ensured that despite the plummeting outside temperature - no heating was needed due to the huge amounts of hot air and BS reminiscences being discussed at incredible sound levels. Steve Chignell (a great friend of John Evan's) took excellent 35mm photos which were available for order during the BBQ. Steve also took about 20 minutes of video, which I added to with more video from the other events. The whole video is (as are most home videos) incredibly boring, but may be of interest to ex BS'ers. I was too discouraged to attempt an audio dub - but let me know if you would like to borrow a copy.
2. There were a few people feeling slightly fragile the next day! So the lunch at the Woden Tradies club 83-Restaurant was a much quieter affair. Click here for Tradies photos. Afterwards some stalwarts who did not have afternoon engagements, joined us for a "behind the scenes" tour of New Parliament house organised by #1 son Tim.
3. On Monday 26th we had the "wrap-up" event. A superb Barbeque at the Murrambateman Winery organised with enormous panache by one Sylvia Flaxman - ably assisted by daughter Mandy and exchange student at the Rendell's, the delightful Jenni-Helena Nikulainen from Finland (Had trouble getting her name on to the name badge!). Many of us indulged in a little wine tasting (and drinking!), reviving memories of many excursions to Herman Tums Yaldara winery in the Barossa valley. The BBQ was further improved by the gift of some magnificent Tuna steaks brought (frozen!) all the way from Port Lincoln by John & Terri Ison - thanks so much for those! Click here for BBQ photos. Many of our friends started on their journey home after this event. But quite a number stayed on in Canberra to sample some more of the region's attractions.
Even though I had a large (some say heavy) hand in organising the reunion, I think I can say that the most of the attendees really enjoyed it and were delighted to meet up with so many old friends. As a result we decided to do it all over again in South Australia in October 2001!
That reunion was duly held and was an even more expansive (Four day + Woomera trip) affair. Once again a very good time was had by all. Many photos and other items concerning that one are posted on the "Official" BlueSteel web site - take a look!